My son says he hates me, what can I do?

If your child says he hates you, don’t take his words at face value. We tell you why it has been expressed in this way and how to turn these moments of crisis into opportunities.

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 08 March, 2022

In the middle of a fight, your son claims that he hates you, that he no longer loves you, that you are the worst father or the worst mother in the world. Those words are devastating to you and you don’t know how to react. Perhaps you respond with anger or feeling offended or hurt. How can my little one feel that? Actually, we need to understand that when my son says he hates me he doesn’t really mean it.

You should know that there are many children who resort to this type of harmful phrases in the interaction with their parents. They can do it when they are little and even continue with this attitude during adolescence.

In any case, the goal is to understand where they are coming from and offer them better strategies to manage what they are feeling. We’ll tell you then.

Why does my son say he hates me?

When a child tells his parents that he hates or detests them, this is not really what he feels. These words They are a way of expressing frustration. disagreement or disagreement. They are usually used when receiving a rule or limit that they do not like, when they are forced to obey or when they receive a scolding or consequence for bad behavior.

If we put ourselves in the shoes of children, we will understand that it is not easy to deal with this type of unpleasant situation with the few resources they have. Perhaps they are just learning to use words; They still do not know how to identify their emotions well, and even less how to channel and express them properly.

Faced with this feeling of impotence, they want to express their anger and resort to this expression because they know that love is good and hate is bad; they know that their parents will be affected by hearing them and with this they ensure that their disagreement will have been made clear. They don’t hate you; they just want you to know how frustrated or upset they are by the situation.

The minor may have learned to express himself in this way through television or other audiovisual media. However, he is more likely to behave this way if this is a common attitude in the family.

Have you or another close adult ever told the child “I don’t love you anymore because you’ve behaved badly”? So you are just mimicking the same strategy that you have observed.

The ways of relating in the family serve as a model for children to imitate.

What can I do if my child says he hates me?

First of all, don’t worry. This is a fairly common situation. and it is an opportunity to better understand your child and practice positive parenting. Here are some important tips that you can implement.

Do not take it personally

If my son says he hates me, it is logical and natural that he feels great pain. However, it is important to understand what is causing your reaction and not take these words at face value or personally. Remember that it is the expression of your frustration and that you do not have other better tools to express yourself.

Control and regulate your emotions

A first impulse in this situation may be to respond to the child with anger, get upset, yell, threaten or punish. But it is important to remain calm.

You are the adult and the one who should set an example of self-control; therefore, take a deep breath, count to 10 and be empathic with your child. Try not to blow up and choose your actions and words carefully at this time.

express unconditional love

Even if your child has told you that he hates you, this is a good time to reassure him that you love him unconditionally. It would be easier (acting from impulse and ego) to respond with the same hateful words, but this is harmful. Take the opportunity to show him that, even if there is a disagreement or an argument, love is immovable.

Help your child identify what he feels

This moment of apparent crisis is perfect for working on emotional education with the child. Don’t try to reason while he’s upset, it won’t do any good. But once calm Talk to him and help him put a name to what he felt.

You can say something like “I understand that you were very angry because I didn’t let you finish watching the movie before going to sleep”. With this, you not only help him to identify his emotions, but you also validate what he feels and make him feel heard and understood.

Offers alternatives for emotional expression

So that this unpleasant situation does not occur again, it is important that you give the child other tools for managing and expressing their emotions. Remember that You have every right in the world to be angry, frustrated and express your disagreement. The objective is that you manage to do it in an appropriate and functional way.

For younger children, drawing doodles or lines on paper can help reduce anger. You can also create a calm corner at home or practice breathing techniques. The most convenient in teaching minors to communicate assertively.

Share how you felt to encourage empathy

One last point to consider if my child says they hate me is let him know how I felt with his words. This should not be done in a reproachful tone or as a form of emotional blackmail.

On the contrary, we want to calmly and clearly express that your words have consequences and that they can hurt the feelings of others. This is key to developing empathy.

Being able to express in words what is happening is a way to channel emotions into assertive ways of relating.

When to seek professional help?

By applying the above guidelines, it is very likely that these types of events will stop happening, since the little one will learn to express himself in other ways. However, it may be necessary to seek professional help if you feel that, as a parent, you can’t contain your anger in those moments and you react badly.

It can also be good to have guidance if you feel a deep negative feeling lurking behind your child’s words. Something that goes beyond a moment of specific anger.

If you perceive that your relationship is not positive, it is best to work on it as soon as possible with the help of an expert. You may be making some mistakes without realizing it.

If my son says he hates me, I will love him twice as much.

When we feel that someone is attacking or harming us, the ego reacts. We are wounded and we want to defend ourselves or return the damage. But with our children we cannot do this.

When your child claims to hate you, remember that at that moment he needs you to love him twice as much, so that you are able to understand him, forgive him and guide him towards a better mode of expression. a child who behaves “evil” He is a child who is suffering. Help him manage his emotions and he will take your example on future occasions.

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